During the nine months prior to a first baby’s birth, first-time parents make all the necessary preparations for the time when they take their baby home from the hospital. However, when the baby does arrive, they start having “new parent” jitters. After all, the small world that just included only the wife and the husband now has a new member in the form of a little baby boy or girl. To make the transition easier from simple spouse to full-time parents, here are some valuable parenting tips that you can try.
Learn How to Care for Baby
Before your baby is even born, prospective new parents should already start taking baby care classes, aside from delivery tutoring sessions like Lamaze. In baby care classes, you will already be taught the “basics,” including how to prepare the milk properly (if you intend to bottle feed the baby), how to feed the baby, breast pump with a wearable breast pump, changing diapers, and how to hold, soothe, and play with the baby. Make sure that you share the responsibility once you bring home the baby.
Take Shifts at Night
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest challenges for new parents is taking care of their baby, especially when he/she wakes up in the middle of the night. Obviously, no parent can handle a lack of sleep. Not only can it be stressful, but no or very little sleep can also affect mood, concentration, and memory. Plus, it can make you vulnerable to sickness.
So that both of you can get equal amounts of sleep every night, Moms and Dads should take turns in waking up and tending to the baby’s needs. You can also divide the night into shifts; wherein one parent remains awake with the baby for a couple of hours while the other parent goes to sleep.
Bond with Your Baby
As you are already anticipating the precious bonding moments with your baby, take the opportunity to cradle your baby in your arms and simply cuddle him/her: these gentle caresses and touches aid in developing your baby’s five senses. To be able to cherish these moments even more, have a camera on hand and have your picture with the baby.
Always Make Eye Contact with Your Baby
There is no truth to that Old Folk’s saying that babies are blind at birth. Just because your baby’s eyes are closed most of the time doesn’t mean that he or she is blind. All newborn babies can see, but because their eyes are pretty much underdeveloped at this time, they can only see at a distance of between 10 and 16 inches. This is the average distance between your face and that of your baby’s whenever you are cradling him/her in your arms. Child psychologists have noted that there is nothing newborns love to do more than gaze at human parents. By maintaining eye contact with the baby, you are helping in the development of his/her social skills.
Caring for a newborn may prove overwhelming during those first two months. Early on, enlist the aid of relatives and friends. Grandparents especially love to take care of their grandchild. Friends and relatives will be very helpful in doing the cooking, shopping, and other household chores while you are getting your bearings on being a new parent.
Ensure Pleasant Nighttime Sleep:
Every parent will at some point be jarred awake at night or bothered in the middle of an important chore or task when their baby starts crying. Many have discovered that although they have tended to their baby’s needs, the child just refuses to go back to sleep. By following the tips below, you are assured of a pleasant nighttime sleep for you and your baby.
- First of all, make sure that your baby has been fed, bathed, and cleaned. Babies tend to fall asleep easier if they have just taken a nice, warm bath and have been sufficiently fed. They also sleep faster if you put on a fresh diaper.
- Next, make it a point to carefully observe your baby for clear signs that he or she is tired. It can be that he/she moves and fidgets less or yawns frequently. Although most parents put their babies to bed at 7 pm, it is best to put your baby in the crib when he or she is exhibiting signs of tiredness. Babies who are overtired tend to be more difficult to settle down. Plus, there is a greater chance that they will wake up in the middle of the night. If you notice signs of tiredness in your baby, prepare his or her crib. Roll it in a comfortable spot of the room (not too hot or too cold). Make sure that the linen and covers are clean and dry. Smooth out the covers and mattress so that there are no lumpy spots.
Try Soothing Music or Aromatherapy to Make Your Baby Fall Asleep More Quickly
Create the perfect ambiance in your nursery that will enable your baby to fall asleep faster. It is not necessary that you turn off all the lights. You can either set the nursery lights to their lowest setting, or you can turn on a small night lamp. Some naturopaths recommend aromatherapy. The best oils for a restful night for a baby are chamomile and lavender. However, before using aromatherapy, ask your doctor first if your baby is not allergic to the scents.
In some cases, children will sleep easier if you play some soft relaxing music. It can be something as simple as a music box, or you can play a CD of lullabies or classical music. Some babies are soothed by rhythmic sounds. You can consider putting a clock that makes soft “tick-tock” sounds on the table beside his/her crib.
Don’t Play With Baby Before Bed Time
It is highly advisable to put your baby in his/her crib while they are still awake because they are sure to fall asleep on their own. Do not keep your baby awake by playing with them. Instead, just give them a kiss or a gentle hug to reassure them of your presence nearby.